Monday, April 16, 2012

Railin says "Look what I found!" 2012

After school is out for the day in Habanero it's nice to take a walk around the village. Sometimes we go to the houses of children that were absent that day. It gives us an opportunity to make sure the children aren't sick or if they are sick to see if there is anything we can do to help. We also have the opportunity to speak with the parents about the importance of school attendance. In some homes if the child just doesn't want to go to school, well, it's okay with the parents. You see many of the adults don't read or write and they "survive". (sometimes just barely) One of our goals is to encourage education for education's sake. After all anything we learn, we get to keep, right? We own it..............
Anyway, on this particular day we were just walking with no particular agenda in mind. As we walk the children begin to follow us or shall I say lead us! So we were with a group of 4 or 5 walking, exploring and just being together in the sunshine. Along cames Railin one of our 3 year old students. He runs up to show us what he's found and as you can see in the photo it is a shell casing. Now this is a gem to him and very precious! But it's all I can do to not take it away from him. and begin preaching about firearms. I hold myself back, because you know what, he is happy right now, he's got something special to him and he doesn't need me telling him it's a bad thing. There's plenty of time for that............So for the time being I think I'll let him enjoy the red color and poking his finger in the hole!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sugar Cane and Sidewalk Chalk

My son is now 30 years old so it's been awhile since I've raised a child Being with the children in the Dominican keeps childhood wonders forever in the forefront and never far from my mind. The ways they keep themselves entertained is always amazing to me.
One of the goodies that was packed with the team luggage was a big batch of sidewalk chalk. Now we've had sidewalk chalk in the past, but without paved roads it wasn't really a big hit. Now that the roads are paved it's a whole different ball game! Not only do the children play games, write and draw with it but they figured out that if the rub it real hard and it gets all powdery they can get it on their hands and smooth it all over their bodies! I don't know about you, but that was a new one for me - walking out the door and seeing these little imps covered in chalk!
The sugar can train runs by the village during the first quarter of the year. Everyone in Habanero (except me I think) loves the raw sugar cane. It's still a little nerve racking for me to see the older children run up to the train and try to pull the cane off. But there is no stopping them! After a train run everyone sits about the village whacking off the outer stalk and then chewing on the sweet cane inside. Again, this Americano gets a little nervous when I see 5 year olds with knives whacking away on the cane. But, this is life in the DR - the pros and the cons. Dangerous? Yes. However, these children learn independence at an early age. They also grow up with a "can do" attitude that is amazing. Just about anything you need to get done, can get done, no matter the obstacles and that my friend is just about perserverance and that is on of the pros!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Robinson Crusoe DR Syle 2012

I am still catching up on all my adventures during this last mission trip to the Dominican. Olivia, Devin and I went to the beach and were immediately surrounded by children. Before leaving the mission house I had stuffed a few baloons into my beach bag and we blew them up and watched was the children happliy ran after them as the wind blew them down the shoreline. As all the baloons soon popped and the novelty quickly wore off I saw the children discovering their own ways to have fun. They didn't need a thing from the Americanos!
Well, almost.............first Devin became their very own beach toy as they swam after him, climbed on his back and hung from his arms. Then they all began building sand sculptures. It was interesting to watch as 18 year old Deving became one of them, laying on the beach and playing in the sand. Even Olivia and I reverted to our inner child and frolicked in the calm water with the children.
Although I'm not found of sea urchins I was amazed at their beauty when a young boy brought one up for me to see and touch. A beautiful amazing piece of natural right there for us to enjoy!
Soon another little boy found his inner Robinson Crusoe as he began to gather washed up items to build a raft for his afternoon get-a-way. As he tried to board his water craft it slowly sank to the bottom. But, not to be discouraged he drug it out of the water and began to re-build. I was so intrigued with his work that I began to help. We were pulling up vines to use as rope to criss-cross the driftwood and palm leaves togerther. We also incorporated a plastic piece of refrigerator, which the boy was very keen on using. As we put it in the water you should have seen his face as he discovered this rig was a floater!
What a wonderful day we had away from the village and the cares of world. I invite you to come with us on a mission trip one day and experience this wonderful Dominican culture.